Beccles teenager among students praised for bravery after helping at fatal A47 crash
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014
A Beccles teenager was among a group of students hailed for their bravery this week after leaping into action to try and save the victims of a fatal head-on crash.
Eighteen-year-old Aiden Goldsmith was part of a 15-strong group from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, travelling on the A47 in west Norfolk when they witnessed the collision between a car and a lorry, and immediately jumped from their minibus to help.
They helped lift a man out of the back of the car, administered first aid, reassured other passengers, supported the lorry driver and stopped traffic.
Tragically, the three people in the silver Kia Ceed – Jeffrey Hain, 66, his wife Marion, 69, and their 36-year-old son Christopher, all from Newhey, near Rochdale – were pronounced dead at the scene and investigations into the crash are ongoing.
However, the students’ quick response was hailed by the emergency services and teachers.
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Daphne King, principal of the college in Gorleston, said: “The staff are very proud of the students and we are all very proud of the staff as well, who dealt so professionally with such a horrendous and unexpected situation.
“They are incredibly brave.”
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The students, who are all studying for a BTEC in public services with the aim of going into the uniformed services, were on their way to the Peak District to take part in an outdoor assessment when the accident happened in East Winch, near King’s Lynn, on Wednesday afternoon.
As soon as their minibus was brought to a halt, the 12 students and three staff members on board sprung into action.
Adam Legind, 17, from Lowestoft, who wants to become a firefighter, went to help the man in the back of the car.
He said: “We tried to pull him out but we couldn’t because his leg was stuck. He was in and out of consciousness, so I then went in the back of the car and pulled him out.”
Together with Louis Cook, 18, also from Lowestoft, and Aiden, he helped carry the man to a grass verge, where other students administered first aid.
The students also pulled sleeping bags and space blankets from the minibus to keep him warm and prop up the man’s legs.
Rebecca Medley, 18, from Carlton Colville, who hopes to become a paramedic, checked the man’s breathing and, together with other students, put him in the recovery position.
Rebecca, who has been a volunteer with St John Ambulance for six years, said: “The training kicked in instinctively.
“I just wanted to look after him and make sure that he was warm enough and hoping he would pull through, but unfortunately he didn’t, which we were all really sad about.”
Adam added: “We kept him warm and thought if he doesn’t make it at least he’s got us around him, talking to him so he felt loved for his last few minutes. We just thought we have got to go out and help.”
Teachers Neil White and Emma Chambers also praised the students for their instinctive actions.
“I’m totally proud of them. You don’t know how you’re going to react in that situation – it’s fight or flight. And they all stood up and did what was required of them,” Mr White said.
Miss Chambers said the experience had also galvanised the students’ ambitions of working in the services. She added: “They have all turned round and said they want to help people in these situations.”
Other students travelling on the minibus who helped were; Tim Bedwell, Katie Bould, Kira Phenix, Guy Humphrey, Leah Secretan, Jamie Weedall, James Harris and Joshua Brown.